We’re not mad; we’re disappointed. Every year, it’s the same thing: the Venn diagram of challenged books and those written by authors from marginalized and underrepresented communities collapse into a single circle. We’ve explored before why these types of books are challenged
by parents and educators, but it’s worth repeating that most challenges boil down to people rejecting books that propose a reality and a morality outside of American Christian whiteness.
In this year of mass protest for social justice and recognition, it’s more important than ever to honor writers whose work explores cultures, experiences, perspectives, orientations, and events that expand our understanding of the human condition and accurately reflect and give voice to readers of all backgrounds.
The books below are drawn from recent lists of the most challenged books in Oregon and across the country. Some are American classics with a long history on banned books lists, and others have just started inciting ire. All are beautiful, riveting, and worth our attention.
For more information about books recently challenged in Oregon, see the State Library of Oregon’s 2020 report. For a look at national challenges, visit the ALA website.